Recruiting for in-demand healthcare jobs
Even at times of high unemployment, there are still sectors that can be challenging to fill. That could be because there’s growing demand for the role due to a change in society or in an industry. Or it may be because there simply aren’t enough job seekers with the requisite skills required.
In the U.S., six of the top ten fields projected to grow the fastest from 2019 to 2029 are related to healthcare, from nurse practitioners to physician assistants, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In many cases, these roles are predicted to be in greater demand because team-based healthcare models are increasingly used to deliver healthcare services. Others are accelerating because U.S. Baby Boomers are aging and will progressively need more care.
Recruiting for these roles requires a mixture of company investment—time, resources and creativity—into the recruiting process and the creation of an environment and culture that is attractive to health professionals.
“Part of this—but only part—is offering a competitive incentive package,” says Landry Seedig, group president and chief operating officer of nurse and allied solutions at AMN Healthcare. “More important is establishing an environment that fosters teamwork, rewards results, and allows health professionals to do what they were trained to do—take care of patients. A positive work environment acts as a magnet—word gets around and candidates come to you.”
It’s also important to communicate with candidates on the platforms that they prefer—which are frequently mobile, since many of these positions are recruited straight out of certification programs. “People who are finishing their training are responsive to texting and mobile devices,” says Rich Fenton, vice president of healthcare search for Tal Healthcare. “There are some folks that will do most of their interactions with you on text. You have to go with what they use as their primary way of contact.”
Last, for increased need during times of surge, organizations can supplement full-time staff with contingent healthcare workers. “Thousands of temporary nurses, doctors and allied professionals have been working side by side with hospital staffs to meet current needs,” Seedig says. “These are vital and oft-used resources to help meet peak demand and critical needs.”
The following are some of the top in-demand roles, along with strategies that can help you recruit for them:
Jobs for nurse practitioners are projected to grow 52% through 2029. This includes nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners, all of whom coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare. In many cases, a nurse practitioner performs many of the same duties as a physician, and they’re invaluable in a variety of settings, from hospitals to private practices.
Successfully recruiting nurse practitioners may require building a relationship with local college programs that train students for this role. Additionally, there are professional organizations that might allow you to post open positions to members, such as the Emergency Nurses Association.
Jobs for occupational therapy assistants are projected to grow 35% through 2029. Occupational therapy assistants help patients develop, recover, improve and maintain the skills needed for daily living and working. This will become increasingly important as Boomers age and conditions like arthritis and stroke affect people’s ability to perform everyday activities.
OT assistants might take courses at a local community college or technical school. Reaching out to career services contacts at those organizations can help you make connections.
Home health and personal care aides
Jobs for home health and personal care aides are projected to grow 34% through 2029. These workers help people with disabilities, chronic illnesses or cognitive impairment by assisting in daily living activities—another occupation that’s growing due to an aging population. These jobs are typically low paying but with high emotional demands, making it tough to keep workers in place.
Home health aides may participate in training programs or they may have no training, and employers might consider offering on-the-job training to recruit new workers. Referral programs can be effective as well, particularly if you offer bonuses or rewards to employees who successfully refer new hires. And to the extent you can offer enticement in the form of benefits, better hourly rates, and flexible scheduling, you’ll attract and retain more and better candidates.
Physical therapist assistants
Jobs for physical therapist assistants are projected to grow 33% through 2029. This field is in increasing demand partially due to an aging (but still active) Boomer population but also because physical therapist assistants help patients maintain mobility and manage the effects of chronic conditions like diabetes and obesity.
Physical therapist assistants must graduate from an accredited physical therapist assistant program and pass an exam to practice. Reaching out to these programs and participating in on-campus recruiting events are effective ways to reach potential new hires.
Roles for physician assistants are projected to grow 31% through 2029. These jobs involve practicing medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons and other healthcare workers, and this occupation is in demand due to a growing and aging population that needs more medical care and a bump in the number of patients with chronic diseases.
Physician assistants usually need a master’s degree from an accredited program. If you can participate as a rotation site for a local PA program, you’ll frequently benefit, as new graduates often work for the companies where they initially trained. Referral programs are also effective in finding PAs, as is contacting state and local PA organizations that can put the word out to their membership.
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